Wed, 25 Mar 09
House buying activity is beginning to bounce back, according to the latest data from Haart estate agents, which shows that sales are up 43.3 per cent and applicant numbers have surged by 81.1 per cent between October 2008 and February 2009.
South West London has seen the highest jump in sales over the past five months, with an increase of 87.3 per cent. Middlesex experienced the second largest sales boost of 75.5 per cent, followed by Kent and Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire, each with a 62.5 per cent rise.
London City and Docklands has not only seen the highest percentage increase in applicant numbers of 126.7 per cent since October 2008, but also reports that applicants have risen 99.4 per cent more than sales - the greatest difference between the two trends. This indicates that the region will be one of the next to see a further up-tick in sales, which have currently only risen by 27.3 per cent.
East London and Nottinghamshire also have relatively larger applicant than sales increases, with differences of 57.8 per cent and 52.2 per cent respectively. These areas are likely to see a resultant surge in sales over the next couple of months.
Russell Jervis, Managing Director of Haart estate agents, said, 'Although the bottom of the market has not yet been reached as house prices in many areas are still following a downward trend, Haart’s real time data is currently presenting a relatively buoyant picture in terms of market activity and offers received.
'The first two months of 2009 have seen both applicant and sales numbers increase substantially across the country, with average rises of 81.1per cent and 43.3per cent respectively. This trend is no doubt the result of buyers across the board taking advantage of the lowest house prices since 2004 as well as mortgage interest rates at record lows.
'Those regions that have seen boosts to the levels of registered buyers, such as London City, Docklands, East London and Nottinghamshire are likely to see this interest shortly translate into sales. Where vendors have made sensible reductions to asking prices they are achieving offers much closer to this new price, suggesting that the market is starting to recover.
'These are all incredibly encouraging signs and although it is still too early to predict that the market is turning a corner, we may be witnessing the beginnings of a gradual renewal of consumer confidence, which will eventually result in more sales being agreed closer to the asking price as competition begins to pick up.
'The various rescue packages have been slow to kick in but are now gradually starting to ease the liquidity problems. However, lenders must pass on the lower rates and offer higher LTV loans to satisfy the demand for mortgages to get people moving again,' he added.
See also: UK Estate Agent Directory
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